Plug-in or Hardwire: That is the Question

How To PowerThere are lots of things to consider when beginning a lighting project: color, brightness, shadowing. The right combination of these elements has the ability to transform the plain into contemporary, the dull into elegant, the blase into the inspired. But before getting carried away with matters of form, it is important to first address questions of function, and when it comes to LED lighting, the first and most important question is that of power.

Whether its the light bulb in your lamp, the back light on your cell phone, or even the daylight cast by the sun’s rays- all light is a form of energy stemming from a source of power. You don’t need to be a physicist to recognize this simple fact, and yet often, it is the last thing designers, homeowners, even contractors think about. How will your lights be powered?

Aside from the most specialized (and portable) applications, which require batteries, most conventional LED lights will be powered in one of two ways- hardwired or plugged in. Both methods serve as a way to convert the 120VAC from standard power mains down to an energy efficient 12VDC which is compatible with our low voltage LEDs, however they differ in the complexity of installation, as well as their manner of control. Inspired LED also offers a unique hybrid option through the Independence Dimmer, which offers the convenience of a plug-in system, with the look of a hardwired wall switch.

Depending upon the specific needs of your project, and your experience with LED lighting, it can be an overwhelming task trying to determine which of these two methods is right for you. But not to worry! That is where our handy-dandy “Hardwire vs. Plug-in” flow-chart comes into play! By simply answering the questions below and following the arrows, we can help you narrow down the best power source and control method for your unique lighting application.

hardwire or plug-in

You can learn more about Inspired LED plug-in power supplies and hardwire dimmable transformers by visiting or website, or calling us directly at 480-941-4286. Still have questions? Take advantage of our Design Services, and let us take the guesswork of your lighting project with a FREE layout and quote!